WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) participated in a roundtable addressing rising antisemitism on college campuses held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). In his remarks, Coach Tuberville condemned antisemitism and shared a heartfelt statement from Coach Bruce Pearl, Auburn’s head basketball coach.
Read excerpts from the speech below or watch it here.
“[I’ve] been on many, many campuses over the years. I’ve seen all kind of hate, all kinds of hate – [against] black, white Americans, Asians, and Jewish [Americans]. I’ve always had an opinion on that. You know, I dealt with a football team that had to bring everybody together to be successful. We don’t have that same attitude in academics. We don’t have that moral attitude. I don’t understand why – I really don’t. […]
Where do I see the problem? I’ll tell you where the problem [is] – we don’t have any leadership on our college campuses. Now, we have some good professors, we have good deans, we have good presidents in some places. Most of them don’t have the courage to stand up for their students – all students, I’m not talking about a few, I’m talking about all. When things might not be right with some, they need to stand up for the others when they know that they need protection. It’s sad. It really is. I’ve talked to my [university] presidents in my state after I was elected. I’m not going to put up with censorship on campus, abuse on campus, I’m not going to put up with it. I can’t do a whole lot other than the fact that we do send some federal money to our universities. But until we get control of our leadership on campus, we have no chance whatsoever.
Tenure has killed this country. And I’ll tell you that tenure of people on campus that teach classes, knowing that they can’t be fired – they can teach anything they want – it’s wrong, absolutely wrong. […]
Our students are vulnerable when they come to college. We all were. You’re excited. You want to learn different things, and sometimes you get in a little bit of trouble, but you have to know right from wrong. […] A lot of it starts at home. But we have to have something done on the secondary level and the higher education level. You know, one of my best friends is Bruce Pearl, Jewish basketball coach, one of the most successful basketball coaches ever, [he’s a] huge American first. And he’ll tell you that. […]
And I want to read what he says:
‘As the head coach of Auburn’s men’s basketball team, I’ve witnessed far too many acts of antisemitism, racism, and other discriminatory acts. […] However, I’m not delivering this message as Coach Bruce Pearl. This is coming from Bruce Pearl, proud American Jew and a board member of the United States Israel Education Association.
Through my work with USIEA, I have spoken at town halls, held seminars on Israel with populations from young adults to ministers, and even taken my team to the Holy Land. Last summer, through my efforts with Athletes for Israel, we took the University of Arizona and Kansas State to Israel and Abu Dhabi to support peace and prosperity in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords.
College rhetoric is full of misinformation. Students need the facts and the history that underpins it. They need exposure to people from different backgrounds. They also need opportunities to come together to find common ground through prayer, spirituality, and honest dialog. That is how we end this cycle of hate and eradicate genocide. The unwillingness of universities to publicly condemn Hamas for their genocide and hostage-taking breaks my heart.
I come to you out of love for my country, love for my Jewish faith, and love for all of our college students. Please stand with me to defend all three from antisemitism and urge Congress and the Biden administration to enforce the protection of Jewish students and foster an environment for them to grow, thrive, and learn the truth.
There needs to be moral clarity here, and no more calls for Israel and the Jewish people to be eliminated ‘from the river to the sea.’ I’d like to thank the United States Congress for consistently and unequivocally and unconditionally standing with Israel and helping her fight for her ability to exist.’”
Senator Tuberville stands unequivocally with Israel and is horrified by the rise of antisemitism on college campuses. As a former educator and coach, he believes that teachers and professors have a tremendous responsibility to provide moral clarity to students on the difference between right and wrong. Coach Tuberville believes that the Hamas-backed terror attacks on innocent Israeli and American citizens are morally repugnant.
Senator Tuberville delivered a floor speech supporting Israel last week.
In the wake of the terror attacks, Coach Tuberville joined legislation to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. Coach Tuberville also wrote an op-ed and sent a letter on the importance of separating Israel aid from Ukraine aid.
Coach cosponsored the Revoke Iranian Funding Act to freeze the $6 billion in funding the Biden administration released to Iran at the bank in Qatar where it is currently being held. This would ensure these dollars are not used by Iran to promote terrorism against Israel or any other nation.
Coach also cosponsored the Emergency Resupply for IRON DOME Act of 2023, a bill to authorize the Executive Branch to redirect U.S. foreign assistance away from Hamas-controlled Gaza and instead to help Israel replenish its Iron Dome, which has been highly effective in intercepting rockets and saving lives.
Coach also joined legislation to cut U.S. funds to the antisemitic United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The UNRWA has a history of employing individuals affiliated with Hamas, an Iranian-backed, U.S.- designated terrorist organization. Additionally, UNRWA schools have been used to store Hamas weapons and promote antisemitic education in their textbooks.
Coach also joined his colleagues in calling on President Joe Biden to enforce existing law and revoke the visas of foreign nationals who endorse or espouse activity in support of Hamas or other Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
Coach also joined at least thirty of his colleagues this week in sending a letter to President Biden asking him to prioritize rescuing American hostages that were taken by Hamas during its attacks on Israel and to support Israel’s efforts to wipe out Hamas.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.